Politically Incorrect Books

Use of the word NIGGER (et al) in literature

Before I started my tour of the "best books" I had no idea that the word NIGGER would pop up as often as it does. Most of my life had been spent in SciFi - where race is simply not an issue, or in Science books of various types where race is only discussed in relation to genetics.

So I was a shocked to find how often it was used in the books that many considered "great". Of course, I expected to encounter the word in some books - Mark Twain used it as it was commonly used at the time; before it developed it's current pejorative connotations. To his characters it was just the word that was used and nothing more. But in other books, the word is meant to have all the pejorative connotations it carries and the author uses it for the purpose of indicating the racist nature of the characters. Since racism is a common driving element in many novels (and in human history), I guess I should not have been so surprised.

So I've decided to keep track of who used it and in what context. This page is the result....

In addition, once I started keeping track of the word nigger, I learned that this was not the only derogatory term for people of African descent. This page also keeps track of the following words:

One thing that has come to mind as I discovered and created this list... what the people who would ban all books using this term would do with some of these. It seems unrealistic to try and deny a racist past (and present). You can't educate people by banning ideas - stupid as those ideas can be. Pretending something never happened doesn't keep it from happening in the future.


Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Kennedy, Randall
Number of occurrences: 5000
ThumbsUP unknown This is a great book to read before diving into the controversy about the word nigger and the usage of it in modern America. This book explores every aspect and reaction to the word. He explores how it has been used in legal issues (the fighting words rules), and how that has evolved over time - also, what it would mean if one interpretation became prevalent over another. He looks at the usage in various cultural aspects - literature, music, film, and how people have reacted. He talks about how people want to deal with the word from those who are willing to tolerate all uses to those who would ban every use without regard to meaning (ex. Huck Finn is an anti-racism novel - but people think it is racist because of the use of nigger constantly.) He discusses racial privilege where in one race is allowed the use of a word that other races are not. Basically, if you are going to have an opinion on this matter, you should read this book to be fully informed of ALL the issues from ALL sides. Nothing is left unexamined. This book is a great service to race relations and deserves to be read by anyone who wants to be informed in this matter.

Roots by Haley, Alex
Number of occurrences: 474
UNRATED movie

This book is about the history of on family that starts in Africa where the prime ancestor is captured and made into a slave. The whole novel is about the slave experience in America - the life, the work, the death, the family, the treatment. I don't think this story could be told without using the word as the slaves themselves heard it used.


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Twain, Mark
Number of occurrences: 204
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

The word nigger is used throughout Hick Finn. It has no negative connotation - well - not in and of itself. It was the common word for the black race at the time. Any negative connotation comes from the attachment of stereotypes to the race and not just to the word. The following is typical...


Absalom,Absalom! by Faulkner, William
Number of occurrences: 146
UNRATED

I have yet to read this, but given that Faulkner wrote about southern life in the age of Jim Crow, the count is not surprising.


The Studs Lonigan Trilogy by Farrell, James T.
Number of occurrences: 118
Banned unknown

The racism in this book is overwhelming. And it doesn't matter who you are talking about, there are only 2 kinds of people - whites and the others - niggers, eight-balls, shines, hebes, kikes, mics, etc. And women are either virgins or whores.. and a possible lesbian should be killed outright. The characters in this book are authentic, and despicable. If you are not disgusted in parts by this, then there is something seriously wrong with you. That said, this book is a fantastically written look at a slice of American history that we should not deny or try to cover up. It is good to examine our ugliness so we don't repeat it - as we inevitably do (Only now it is Muslims and Hispanics)

Towards the end, Studs begins to wonder why he has never been happy, and why his life has never worked out, but he still can't let go of the hate that defined his whole life.


Uncle Tom's Cabin by Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Number of occurrences: 108
Banned unknown movie

This book about slavery, written before the Civil War, could not have been written without the use of the word. Indeed, Ms. Stowe uses the word to show how the characters dehumanized the slaves they dealt with on a daily basis. She used the word to show the lack of respect that one race could have toward another.

The word is used by everyone - Master and Slave alike. It shows how, in some instances, the slave accepted their own dehumanization and passed this inflicted cruelty on to their own race.

One of the quintessential evil characters of all time was invented in this novel - Simon Legree - a slave trader and all around rotten human being. There are too many examples to list here, but the following are just a few:


Beloved by Morrison, Toni
Number of occurrences: 100
Banned unknown movie

The word is used frequently in the book, though how one could write this book without it is the question being begged by those who would censor the book on this account. It takes place before, during, and after the Civil War and everything is through the eyes of slaves. Pretty much in any dealing with "white folk" the term comes up. Hell, perhaps the term "white folk" should also be considered offensive when used in this way. In any case here are some samples..


Gone with the Wind by Mitchell, Margaret
Number of occurrences: 100
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

The word appears more frequently in the latter half of the book due to the influence of Yankee's on the south. This is when the word is really introduced.

At one point Scarlett is highly offended by some white women who use the term to refer to her driver - whom she thinks of as part of her family. The driver is shocked as well.

An interesting take on the use of the word throughout.


A Good Man is Hard to Find by OConnor, Flannery
Number of occurrences: 59
unknown

Mary Flannery O'Conner wrote regional stories in the southern Gothic style. She was born (1925) in Savannah, Georgia, and was steeped in the culture of the south. As such, her usage of the word should not be a surprise.


South Sea Tales by Stevenson, Robert Louis
Number of occurrences: 54
UNRATED

The sailors call the islanders niggers, and talk about the inevitability of their contact (and domination) by the white man. In one section there is a battle where a group of islanders are recruited to work on plantations - but once they get on board the ship, attack, and are slaughtered by a marksman in the rigging. I could have just included the whole section.. but the gist is obvious. There is no respect what-so-ever for black men from the characters in this book. (Also note the use of the work pickaninnies.. another old derogatory slang)


Blood Meridian by McCarthy, Cormac
Number of occurrences: 39
unknown

In Blood Meridian, the word nigger is used to refer to any person the troop consider "sub-human". So it is used to refer to Indians, to blacks, to Mexicans, etc. It is ironic because the troop itself is as disgusting group of sub-human characters as you would ever want to meet.


From Here to Eternity by Jones, James
Number of occurrences: 35
Banned UNRATED movie

I have yet to read this book and so cannot provide any context. I know it takes place during World War II on Hawaii in the months leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.


All the King's Men by Warren, Robert Penn
Number of occurrences: 31
Banned UNRATED movie

I have yet to read this book. All the King's Men portrays the dramatic political rise and governorship of Willie Stark, a cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s.

Given the fact that this takes place during the Jim Crow era in the south (and at the same time as the books Native Son and The Studs Lonigan trilogy) the words appearance is not surprising.


Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston, Zora Neale
Number of occurrences: 31
Banned unknown

In this book was written by an African American author, the word is used in the same pejorative manner when one group of lighter skin Negros want to refer to the darker skinned people they hate. One character in particular suffers from this prejudice and has no trouble letting it show. I believe, Ms. Hurston wanted to use the word in the same hateful way... and to show that hate transcends skin color.

In all but one of the following instances, the speaker is him/herself black.


Go Tell It on the Mountain by Baldwin, James
Number of occurrences: 30
Banned unknown

This novel takes place (at least the first chapter) in 1930's Harlem.  When the character John visits Manhattan he recalls how his father (a very strict christian) tells him he can't never trust white folk.  That white folk hate niggers and cannot be trusted.  The word is sprinkled through out the book, and usually has its derogatory meaning people of low character.

Almost every instance of the word in this book is black people, trying to use it to describe other lower class black people or criminals. The characters in this book don't think much of "niggers" and use the word with derision.


Look Homeward, Angel by Wolfe, Thomas
Number of occurrences: 30
Banned UNRATED

The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel covers the span of time from Eugene's birth to the age of 19. The setting is the fictional town and state of Altamont, Catawba, a fictionalization of his home town, Asheville, North Carolina.

Given that the time period starts in 1910 or so, and is in North Carolina (where I have personal knowledge of the racist attitudes of the time) it is not surprising that the word is used.

I personally recall people in Spruce Pine, NC being proud of the fact that, at one point in time, they rounded up all the black folk in the town and sent them away on the railroad. This was 30+ years ago, but I wonder if the people of that town are still proud of that fact.


To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee, Harper
Number of occurrences: 30
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

This book is about racism. The word HAS to be used in this book by the characters who are the racists. Take away the word, and you may as well burn the book. Still, it's hard to hear in some of the places it's used. These people, the racists, are barely human, and as proved by the end of the book, don't deserve the consideration commonly given to civilized people.


Native Son by Wright, Richard
Number of occurrences: 25
Banned UNRATED

I have yet to read this novel, but can provide some context. This take place in the same setting and same era as The Studs Lonigan books. The novel tells the story of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas, a black American youth living in utter poverty in a poor area on Chicago's South Side in the 1930s

It is surprising to me, having not read the book, that the word does not appear more often.


The Naked and the Dead by Mailer, Norman
Number of occurrences: 23
Banned UNRATED

I have yet to read this myself and so cannot provide much context. The wikipedia summary states:
The story takes place on Anopopei, a fictional island somewhere in the South Pacific. American forces are faced with a campaign to drive out the Japanese so that Americans can advance into the Philippines. The novel itself focuses on the experiences of one platoon, overseen by Lieutenant Hearn and General Cummings. Although Mailer does not write about the significance or details of the campaign, it is implied that this platoon, like all platoons in the Army, is simply just obeying orders, uncertain what those orders might be.

This makes me wonder why the word would be used so often - as the armed forces were not integrated at this time.

From the samples I read, it appears that the characters are talking about black mistresses and experiences back home before the war.


Naked Lunch by Burroughs, William
Number of occurrences: 21
Banned unknown movie

This book is so completely offensive that the word nigger hardly matters in the context of the story... if you could call it a story... or say it has a context..

Just to give some examples: the word CUNT appears: 42 times. The word BITCH 12 times; the word WHORE 9 times; the word FAGGOT 6 times; the word SHIT 87 times; you get the idea... This is not a book for the sensitive soul.

I'm bumping the count on here by 1 because I came across the word "Nigra" which I never thought to search for before.


Invisible Man by Ellison, Ralph
Number of occurrences: 16
Banned ThumbsUP unknown

This book is about a black man, raised in the south who moves to New York. It is commonly acknowledged to be one of the greatest books written in the 20th century. The word nigger comes up frequently and is used by characters both white and black. Without it, this book would not be what it is.

It must be noted... the author is black. Many of the speakers in these instances are black themselves, but still, the term is derogatory in almost every instance of use.


Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, John
Number of occurrences: 16
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

This novel takes place among less educated farm/ranch hands who, at the time are generally racist in any case. The novel just reflects the characters of the time.


Lonesome Dove by McMurtry, Larry
Number of occurrences: 15
UNRATED

I have yet to read this, so can only provide context from the plot summary. The story focuses on the relationship of several retired Texas Rangers and their adventures driving a cattle herd from Texas to Montana in 1876. Given that this is only 10 years after the Civil War, the word would still be in common use.


Gravity's Rainbow by Pynchon, Thomas
Number of occurrences: 12
UNRATED

I have yet to read this, and so cannot provide any context. The plot in this book is odd, in keeping with Pynchon's style.

The opening pages of the novel follow Pirate Prentice, an employee of the Special Operations Executive, first in his dreams, and later around his house in wartime London. Pirate's associate Teddy Bloat photographs a map depicting the sexual encounters of U.S. Army Lt. Tyrone Slothrop, an employee of a fictional technical intelligence unit called ACHTUNG. Each of Slothrop's sexual encounters in London appears to precede a V-2 rocket strike in the same place by several days.


Wide Sargasso Sea by Rhys, Jean
Number of occurrences: 12
unknown movie

This book takes place in the Caribbean islands where the races mixed rather freely and the phrase "white nigger" was used to refer to a class of people many looked down on. This book is the supposed prequel to the book Jane Eyre and explains the origin of the insane character in the attic.

NOTE: I did not have an electronic copy of this book to do my research here. I had to do a rapid re-read to find these instances, so I may have missed something.


A Death in the Family by Agee, James
Number of occurrences: 11
UNRATED movie

James Agee was born in Knoxville, TN in 1909 and grew up there. Since this novel is autobiographical, it is no wonder the word is used - it was probably a part of his entire life in the south.


Heart of Darkness by Conrad, Joseph
Number of occurrences: 10
ThumbsUP unknown movie

This book about the darkness of colonial rule in Africa shows man at his worst. The white people see the blacks as nothing but a disposable resource to be plundered, used and then disposed of when no longer profitable. They are not even human. And this is long after the slave trade has been abandoned. You can take the man out of the darkness, but you can''t take the darkness out of the man.


The Color Purple by Walker, Alice
Number of occurrences: 9
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

The novel is about black people, so the language is colloquial and sprinkled with the word throughout.


Infinite Jest by Wallace, David Foster
Number of occurrences: 9
UNRATED

I have yet to read this book, and so cannot provide any context on my own. It sounds very odd, according to Wikipedia: The plot partially revolves around the missing master copy of a film cartridge, titled Infinite Jest and referred to in the novel as "the Entertainment" or "the samizdat". The film, so entertaining to its viewers that they lose all interest in anything other than viewing it and thus eventually die, was James O. Incandenza's final work.


Ellen Foster by Gibbons, Kaye
Number of occurrences: 8
Banned ThumbsUP unknown

This amazing little book is from the perspective of a 9 year old girl who, through a series of very hard knocks, learns so much about life that, at age 11, she has more wisdom than most of the adults around her. One of the things she learns, through her friendship with a black girl her same age, is that racism is stupid, and that no matter how hard her life has been, her black friend has it rougher than her - only for the reason that she is black.

The word is used by racists in the book, but Ellen herself, though she has some prejudice to start, is never a racist. This book was a wonderful read.


Ragtime by Doctorow, E. L.
Number of occurrences: 8
ThumbsUP unknown

The book takes place during the era of RAGTIME - when racism was the norm in the U.S. Folks were openly racist. Blacks are mistreated, and at one point there is a revolt and a museum is taken over.


Tropic of Cancer by Miller, Henry
Number of occurrences: 7
Banned unknown movie

Used a few times here and there, but not in reference to people... more in reference to it's derogatory meaning. "treat us like niggers"... meaning poorly. Or that a place was a "nigger joint"... meaning a low-life place. Just a tad here and there, but not much.

The word "cunt" is a staple. All women are cunts one way or the other. Most are simply cunts ... no name.. no character, just a cunt for a quick fuck. It's no wonder they wanted to ban this book when it first came out. It's no wonder it was set in Paris as well, where that might work better than say, oh.. Boston.


A Confederacy of Dunces by Toole, John K
Number of occurrences: 6
UNRATED movie

Not having read this yet, the novel takes place in New Orleans during the 1960's; a time of great racial tension all over the United States.


Kim by Kipling, Rudyard
Number of occurrences: 6
ThumbsUP unknown movie

This is an amazing book about a orphaned white boy (sahib) that is has grown up in the streets of Lahore, India during the British rule there. He is so steeped in the culture of India, and so dark from his exposure to the sun, that no one knows he is actually Caucasian, and assume him to be a Hindu child.

The book is fantastic in the portrait is paints of Indian life, religion, culture and castes. There is so much in here about the Indian way of life during that period that you can't help but come away with some sense of the magic of that place and time. India was the original multicultural country, if ever there was one, as it occupies the perfect place between east, west and Africa.

Of course, when cultures clash prejudice happens. The word nigger appears several times in this book, which is not remarkable as caste and religious prejudice are more explored here than racial issues.


Ulysses by Joyce, James
Number of occurrences: 6
Banned UNRATED movie

If you find the next sample difficult to read, you are not alone. I was unable to finish this book. The prose is interesting, sometimes amazing, but incredibly dense as these instances show.


Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, John
Number of occurrences: 5
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

The book takes place during a racist time in our countries history... a time when everyone was a racist, one way or the other.


In Search of Lost Time by Proust, Marcel
Number of occurrences: 5
UNRATED

You will need to read the Wikipedia entry on this as I have no plans to read thie 7 volume novel. However - I can say it was written starting in 1909 so the word was still common. In such a large work, perhaps it is surprising that it does not appear more often.


As I Lay Dying by Faulkner, William
Number of occurrences: 4
Banned unknown movie

The novel takes place in the time of the south were Faulkner spent his youth. The word is used to describe the skin after an accident where someone got burned. Their skin turned black, and they use the word to describe it.


Bastard out of Carolina by Allison, Dorothy
Number of occurrences: 4
unknown movie

This story of a young girl growing up mid-20th century in North Carolina contains examples of the attitude of the times. Since the story does not revolve around these attitudes the examples are few, but present nonetheless. It might have been possible to write this book without these references as they have almost nothing to do with the plot. They do help illustrate the importance of class in this culture since, no matter how impoverished you were, you were still better as a white person than any black person.


Catch 22 by Heller, Joseph
Number of occurrences: 4
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

This novel takes place during WWII and there is an incident at the airbase involving a man from Texas accused of being a racist.


Lord Jim by Conrad, Joseph
Number of occurrences: 3
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

The novel deals with a man who believes he is a coward because of one act of cowardice during a crisis on a ship. He abandons his life and to live among native peoples in the south seas. He comes to respect the people he lives with, and they him. He is not a racist, but many of those around him are - especially during a ship board crisis.

As in his novel Heart of Darkness, Conrad uses race to show humanity; or the lack of humanity between men. The 3 instances occur in 2 places:


Scoop by Waugh, Evelyn
Number of occurrences: 3
unknown

The novel uses several slurs as in the first example, but the N-word shows up only 3 times. Given that these are English people in the prime of the Empire (supposedly) it is probably not unusual to expect its appearance. Also, given that most of the novel takes place in a mythical African country, its surprising that it doesn't occur more. The main character is a rather mild mannered country gent with little exposure to the world - an innocent. It is those around him who tend to be the racists.


Snow Crash by Stephenson, Neal
Number of occurrences: 3
UNRATED

The book presents the Sumerian language as the firmware programming language for the brainstem, which is supposedly functioning as the BIOS for the human brain. According to characters in the book, the goddess Asherah is the personification of a linguistic virus, similar to a computer virus. The god Enki created a counter-program which he called a nam-shub that caused all of humanity to speak different languages as a protection against Asherah (a re-interpretation of the ancient Near Eastern story of the Tower of Babel).


American Pastoral by Roth, Phillip
Number of occurrences: 2
unknown movie

The book is about the life of a man who runs a glove factory, and whose business is shrinking and whose family is falling apart. The following takes place when he is confronted by someone who does not like him personally, or the way he is trying to save his business. The word is used for effect.


Cold Sassy Tree by Burns, Olive Ann
Number of occurrences: 2
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

The novel takes place in Georgia... so what do you expect?

Since the people of this town don't have much in the way of interaction with Black people the word does not have that much occasion to come to hand. But when there is an interaction, it just comes naturally. Understandable given the time period of the novel.


The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon, Thomas
Number of occurrences: 2
unknown

I don't believe it was necessary as the book is supposedly post-modern and could have easily avoided this. Ah well.


Dog Soldiers by Stone, Robert
Number of occurrences: 2
unknown movie

This book takes place during the Vietnam war and centers around a drug smuggling attempt gone bad. Needless to say some of the characters are not the most upstanding of citizen's.


H. M. S. Surprise (Vol. Book 3) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) by O'Brian, Patrick
Number of occurrences: 2
ThumbsUP unknown

These amazing books take place mostly at sea and involve the workings of the crew, battles, and society of the early 1800's. When I first read these I thought they were written at the time - the level of detail is stunning. Racism, however, is pretty much left out.


A High Wind In Jamaica by Hughes, Richard
Number of occurrences: 2
unknown movie

The novel takes place in a time shortly after the emancipation of slaves. It is set in Jamaica and is the story of a group of children who are kidnapped and left unsupervised. It has some elements of The Lord of the Flies in this regard.


Live and Let Die by Fleming, Ian
Number of occurrences: 2
Banned unknown movie

This book is constantly talking about the character of the Negro. Not always unflatteringly, but not with much warmth either. I'd have to conclude that Ian Fleming was something of a racist. All the black dialog is as bad as you would find in Mark Twain. The only black character with any education is Mr. Big - the villain.


Tobacco Road by Caldwell, Erskine
Number of occurrences: 2
Banned unknown movie

This book is about a family of white share croppers. They are ignorant, poor, selfish, sinful; about as low as you can get on the humanity scale, but they are still better than black folk. At one point one of the characters, Dude, kills a black man by running into his wagon with a car. He just leaves the body to the side of the road and thinks nothing of it. Here is Dude's description of the aftermath of the accident.


True Grit by Portis, Charles
Number of occurrences: 2
ThumbsUP unknown movie

This novel was made into 2 motion pictures - one in which John Wayne won and Oscar for his portrayal of the character Roster Cogburn. I loved both version of the movie and decided to read the book. Its and easy read, and I highly recommend it, but it is describing a time in American life when the N-word was used, and was used, not as a common designation, but with all the racial denigration is holds today.


Ubik by Dick, Phillip K.
Number of occurrences: 2
unknown

This is a rather odd SciFi book about product called Ubik - a spray with world altering properties - or is it the world being altered?


A Thousand Acres by Smiley, Jane
Number of occurrences: 1
Banned UNRATED movie

Usage appears once in the novel.


Angle of Repose by Stegner, Wallace
Number of occurrences: 1
UNRATED

I have yet to read this book. The instance is as follows:


Bleak House by Dickens, Charles
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown

Yes, Dickens!! I know you can't believe it, but since I decided to expand the meaning of this page, Mr. Dickens becomes guilty of using a racially insensitive word in his writing. In the novel Bleak House, Dickens describes a despicable churchyard where the bodies of paupers are simply dumped after death. The description is horrific, and Dickens uses the old English term for Negro to add to the distasteful feel of his description.


Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, Feodor
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown movie

This is a translation from the Russian, so naturally one has to blame the translator rather then the author, but still, one has to imagine that the translator chose the word for it's negative connotations.


Cry the Beloved Country by Paton, Alan
Number of occurrences: 1
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

This touching book about the development of apartheid South Africa, written in the late 1940's contains the word "nigger" one time - in the phrase where someone denies being a nigger hater. The word "kaffir" appears as well in this novel. This may have been more acceptable then, but now is on the same level as the word nigger in the United States - a derogatory slang for black person.


The Day of the Locust by West, Nathanael
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown movie

I have yet to read this so can provide no context.


A Farewell To Arms by Hemingway, Ernest
Number of occurrences: 1
Banned unknown movie

Apparently Hemingway just could not resist using the word once in this novel.  It's funny that various editions of this novel were censored to remove words like "shit", "fuck" and "cocksucker", but this was left alone.   Kinda tells you what people once wanted to censor.  Now, I would imagine, it might be the other way around.


In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Larson, Erik
Number of occurrences: 1
ThumbsUP unknown

This book is about the rise of Hitler and the Nazi's from the perspective of an American family living in Berlin (the American Ambassador to Germany). In this book, the anti-Semitic propaganda used the word combined with Jew to dehumanize a whole population of people.


The Magnificent Ambersons by Tarkington, Booth
Number of occurrences: 1
UNRATED movie

I have yet to read this and so cannot provide any context.


The Moviegoer by Percy, Walker
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown

The word appears ONCE in this book set in New Orleans in the 1950's. One would think that it would appear more often in this setting, but the author is obviously NOT a racist. The word negro is used consistently and, though they play no important role in the book, black people are treated with respect as typically hard working and honest fellow citizens.


Nostromo by Conrad, Joseph
Number of occurrences: 1
UNRATED

Nostromo is set in the South American country of Costaguana, and more specifically in that country's Occidental Province and its port city of Sulaco. Though Costaguana is a fictional nation, its geography as described in the book resembles real-life Colombia. Costaguana has a long history of tyranny, revolution and warfare, but has recently experienced a period of stability under the dictator Ribiera.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Kesey, Ken
Number of occurrences: 1
Banned ThumbsUP unknown movie

Actually the word of choice in this novel is "coon". The word nigger doesn't appear until a fight scene in the showers, and then only once, and as a provocation.


The Pickwick Papers by Dickens, Charles
Number of occurrences: 1
UNRATED movie

I have yet to read this and cannot provide any context.


Saturn's Children by Stross, Charles
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown

The word is used in this novel to illustrate how awful it is to be called a robot. Of course, all the characters in the book ARE robots, but to actually say that out loud is as offensive as calling someone a nigger would be to humans.

The premise of the novel is that mankind has gone extinct and the robots left behind are building their own distinct civilization. The instance where it is use is the quintessential statement regarding the premise of the book; the definition of the theme, if you will. It seems entirely appropriate given that it used to add weight to the insult of the word ROBOT.

This one of the only SciFi novels where I have encountered this word.


The Sheltering Sky by Bowles, Paul
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown movie

Another book where the word appears just once. The book takes place in and around the Sahara desert. There are some comments that are anti-Arab by characters who are pretty obviously racist. The author, however, seems to show a sensitivity to the area and its culture, having lived there for a portion of his life around 1933. The word is used to refer to Arab children rather than black people.


The Sportswriter by Ford, Richard
Number of occurrences: 1
UNRATED

I have yet to read this and cannot provide any context.


Tender Is the Night by Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Number of occurrences: 1
UNRATED movie

I have not read this and cannot provide any context.


The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: A George Smiley Nove by Carrť, John le
Number of occurrences: 1
unknown movie

The usage in this book is not actually racist, but a reference to another well known (at the time) bit of doggerel that was a children's poem. American's know it as Ten Little Indians, but it is also known as Ten Little Niggers. The point of this little poem is that by the end of it they are all dead. The reference in the book talks about a series of murders and uses the poem to illustrate it.

If you want to see the words to this bit of child's poetry click here. The reference is as follows:


The Thin Man by Hammett, Dashiell
Number of occurrences: 1
Banned unknown movie

This takes place in the 1920's, so its pretty much expected that the word is going to appear in this book. One would think that it might get used more, but the story does not have much interaction between races.


White Teeth by Smith, Zadie
Number of occurrences: 1
ThumbsUP unknown

As might be expected, the subject of teeth comes up several times in this novel.  One of the main characters has no upper teeth, having lost them in an accident.

Later in the novel, three children go to visit an elderly man as part of a school activity designed to teach charity.  They are reluctant, but eventually end up in the man's house sharing tea with him.  They notice that he has no teeth, at which point he admonishes them to take care of the teeth they have, because they will need them.  But then he reminisces about his days in the war, and how "white teeth" didn't help his enemy much.